In today’s lesson we’ll cover the rest of the cool things that you can do with Twhirl.

Using Twhirl Pt. 2 | Thirty Day Challenge

We’ve already covered a bit about the “direct message icon (shown below.)

Twhirl - Direct Message Button

Let’s compare and contrast some of the key differences and uses for direct messages vs. “@” replies.  Keep in mind, in using Twhirl and Twitter, you are putting content out on the web for others to view – so you have to keep the reader in mind.  In fact, you’ll want to be mindful of your potential future readers.  In doing so, there’ll need to be some deliberate thought behind your usage of “@” replies vs. direct messages.

In the video, Ed gets a message about where the periods go in the term “” – now Ed could choose to use an “@” reply, which would show up in his public twitter feed.  Anyone who is “following” Ed would be able to read it.  But without any context, that reply wouldn’t make much sense and may not be of much interest to his Twitter followers.  So in this case, a direct message makes more sense.

Twhirl - Tweeting A Direct Message

One caveat, you aren’t able to send a direct message to someone who is not following you.  So, you couldn’t send a direct message to Ed_Dale unless he was following you.  But you COULD send him an “@” reply.  In that case, you would want to remember to provide some context AND get to the point in 140 characters or less.

Direct messages would be very handy for communication within teams.  We will also learn about another Twitter-based service that will allow us to send private messages within the Twitter frame-work.  More on that later…

Below is the “archive” folder button – it allows you to view the Twitter archive of all your posts.

Twhirl - Archive Button

Next up is the “favorites” button – which Ed doesn’t use much.  It can be used to help remind you to come back and look at something later.

Twhirl - Favorites Button

This is the friends and followers button.  You can use this to help you maintain the list of people you are following and the people who are following you.

Twhirl - Friends And Followers Button

By way of example, you could go through your friends and followers list and send them a reply, a direct message – or you could “unfollow” them.

Twhirl - Unfollow User

On to the “Lookup” button.  This is a particularly handy Twhirl function to help you find people on Twitter.

Twhirl - The Lookup Button

In this example, Ed looks up DanRaine on Twitter.  It shows all of Dan’s posts, his website information and his Twitter stats.  From here, you could send him an “@” reply or a direct message.  You could also “unfollow” him or block him if he’s being a pill.  🙂

Twhirl - Block User Button

As you get better and better as a Twitter user, you may find yourself checking the “API” button.  There’s a limit to how many times you can access Twitter each hour.  They do this to throttle down the flow of traffic – they may increase that limit in the future, but for now – you can hover over this icon to show your current API usage and the overall health of Twitter at the moment.

Twhirl - Twitter API Stats

If you do happen to exceed your API limit, it will reset within an hour – and you’ll be back up and running.


The “toggle filter” button allows you to search through your tweets for a certain person or post.

Twhirl - Toggle Filter Button

The “mark all as seen” button does just what it says.  This can help keep your message window current.  You may notice that “tweets” you haven’t read yet have a star by them…

Twhirl - Mark All As Seen Button

Below is the “refresh” button, which will poll Twitter for any new tweets.  This will count against your API limit for the hour, so use it sparingly if at all.

Twhirl - Refresh Button

Wrapping up this post – The way Ed uses it, Twhirl just sits on his desktop.  Rather than let it be a constant distraction, he just checks it when he has a few minutes to review and respond to his tweets.

I’m a big fan of clustering tasks – meaning, I work on e-mails for a while, then I’ll shift gears and work on phone calls, after that – maybe I’ll work on a blog post.  In between, maybe I’ll check on my twhirl feed and see if anything needs a response.  In addition, if I’m working on something that would make sense to “tweet” about – I’ll post it to twhirl and then get right back to the task at hand.  But I try to make sure I’m using Twhirl in a way that enhances my productivity and extends my reach on the web – not as a distraction that allows me to procrastinate…It just takes a bit of self-discipline.

If you use Twhirl and Twitter in that way, you’ll find it to be a fantastic and simple way to inject your voice into the “conversation.”  When we get to some additional elements that we’ll be learning about shortly, you’ll begin to see how to use these tools to market more effectively.  So get used to using Twitter and Twhirl, remember the “TwitterBar” we learned about a few days ago – and we’ll learn more in the next lesson from Ed.

Important/Related Links

Click here to download Twhirl.

Follow Ed on Twitter
Click here to follow Ed on Twitter.

Follow Dan on Twitter
Click here to follow Dan on Twitter.

Follow Rob on Twitter
Click here to follow Rob on Twitter.

Sign Up for the Thirty Day Challenge
Click here to sign up for the thirty day challenge.

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In this lesson – we’re going to learn more about how to use Twitter.   We learned previously how to get a Twitter account and received a basic overview of how the Twitter website looks and works.  But there are better ways to make use of Twitter.

It’s about your work flow.  And this lesson introduces a service that allows you to use Twitter and minimize the interruptions to your work flow.  Here’s Ed Dale’s video:

The Best Twitter Client Is Twhirl

The Flock Browser already has a built-in Twitter client.  You can open your “people” sidebar and see the latest “tweets” from people you’re following. (Like Ed, Dan and Bob – you know – from that last post…you did follow them like you were supposed to, right?)

Aside from getting news quickly from the people you’re following, you can also send your own tweet and update your Twitter page right from Flock’s built-in Twitter client.   One other function built-in is the “post a link” option.  Ed doesn’t use it – it can be a pretty big workflow interruption, and he shows how in the video.

To post links, we’ll use one of the add-ons we loaded in this earlier post:

Preseason 03c – Extensions To Install In Flock

Let’s get going with TwitterBar – assuming you’ve already installed TwitterBar, you’ll need to do some set-up.  For whatever reason, Flock doesn’t seem to think TwitterBar is compatible with Flock.  But it does seem to work, at least for Ed (and me.)

In the video, Ed shows how to do this on a MAC.  I have a PC, so I’ll show you the steps to set up your TwitterBar.

On a PC click on the <Tools> menu – then <Add-ons>.  From there, find “TwitterBar” in your Add-ons menu.  Click on the <Options> button.

On a MAC click on the <Tools> menu – then <Add-ons>.  From there find “TwitterBar” in your Add-ons menu.  Click on the <Preferences> button.

Up pops a dialog box.

TwitterBar Dialog Box

1) Ed leaves his in “secure mode” – so did I…

2) Fill in your Twitter username and password.

3) You can type in your own message in the “Before URL” field – the default is “Currently Browsing:”

At this point, there’s no compelling reason to change this.

4) “Open Twitter in a new tab” – leaving this unchecked helps keep you IN your work flow, that is the point, right?

5) Last option – “Hide addressbar button” – but we want that displayed.  Having that button up in our address bar also helps us minimize work flow interruptions.

And that’s it – you should now be able to post to Twitter directly from your browser address bar.

In the video, Ed shows us how to post a link that points to the Twhirl website – it’s really a simple, quick and effective way to let your Twitter followers know about a page or URL that you’re looking at.

One additional item worth mentioning, Twitter posts (Tweets) are limited to 140 characters, like a text or SMS message.

To re-cap, you can view Twitter and post to Twitter from the “people” sidebar built-in to Flock and you can post interesting links to your Twitter account right from your browser address bar.  Two ways to use Twitter without going to the Twitter website.

If you’d like to practice, go up to your address bar and post the link for this page to Twitter – right from your address bar. 🙂


Onward to Twhirl…

Twhirl - A Twitter Client

Twhirl is an exceptional Twitter client application.  It’s built on the Adobe Air platform, which means it is compatible with MAC, PC and Linux systems.

Adobe Air

So – let’s download and install Twhirl…

Download Twhirl

Once it finishes downloading, just follow the prompts to finish the Twhirl installation.

Twhirl - Installation Dialog

Once installed, your Twhirl application will open up.

In the video, Ed touches on another application called “FriendFeed” I’m sure he’ll be covering that in a later lesson.

Ed also mentions “The Trouble With Twitter” – yes, they’re experiencing some growing pains.  Over the last few months the Twitter user base has expanded on a pretty massive level. There’s been some questionable press about it – but Ed makes a valid point about other internet technologies like e-mail and early ICQ and instant messaging apps.

They went through growing pains too.  I suppose if there were a mass exodus, maybe the technology would fade out – but it’s very unlikely that will happen.  Micro-blogging and Twitter-type applications will just get more popular over time, just like e-mail and text messaging.

You will have to do some set-up to integrate Twhirl with your Twitter account.  Here’s how:

1) Go to the “Settings” menu – it’s the little button in the upper right that looks like a wrench.

2) Enter your Twitter username (and password when prompted)

That’s should do it – you’re set up with Twhirl.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to capture screen shots of the Twhirl application – it fades out when I try to do a screen capture – sorry.  Thankfully, there’s still the video for reference…

Ed mentions the possibility of multiple Twitter/Twhirl accounts for personal, private and/or “marketing persona” purposes.  But for now, unless you’re an experienced veteran – let’s keep it simple.

To re-cap on Twhirl:

1) Download and Install Twhirl

2) Enter your Twitter username and password into the Twhirl settings menu.

3) Make sure you’re following Ed, Dan and Bob

4) Since you have Twirl open – type in a quick post, maybe something nice about the thirty day challenge – or this blog – or just answer the question; What are you doing?

Bonus points if you tweet about hugging your kids… 🙂


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Today’s video shows several extensions (or add-ons) that we’ll be installing in Flock.  These extensions add certain functionality to Flock and alow us to leverage Flock for internet marketing purposes.  Before we get into the video and the add-ons – could I just say something?

If you haven’t signed up for the thirty day challenge yet – please do.  The training really is given freely, there is no obligation to buy anything after you sign up – not ever – and I will continue to post my own version of notes and tips here.  But there is so much more available on the forums and within the thirty day challenge community, you’re missing out on something if you’re not a part of it.

For instance, this particular lesson has a downloadable PDF file that goes with it.  It’s free to download if you’re a Thirty Day Challenge member – it’s not available if you’re not signed up…

I would call this blog my own version of “Cliff Notes” for the 2008 Thirty Day Challenge.  I used Cliff Notes for certain subjects in high school and college – they served their purpose, I could get a passing grade on those tests.  But I know I missed out on the full experience when I took that shortcut – I cheated myself out of fully learning something by relying on the Cliff Notes alone.

Don’t cheat YOURSELF out of the full Thirty Day Challenge experience – go sign up at this link (if you haven’t already) Thirty Day Challenge – and then come back here for more of these notes…I’ll get off my soap box now…onward to the Flock add-ons:

Pimping Out Flock For Fun And Profit – But Mostly For Profit

Here’s Ed Dale’s video from YouTube…


And here’s an easy to follow list of the add-ons, complete with links to go get ’em – so go get ’em…

Google Global

This extension allows you to view search results from other parts of the world – this will be something you can take advantage of later in the thirty day challenge.

Go To Google Global Flock Add-on

Google Notebook

Allows you to research and make notes without leaving your browser – a brilliant way to help with niche research.  Having a Google account is something you’ll need going forward – Ed will be showing us how pretty soon…

Go To Google Notebook Add-on For Flock

SEO for FireFox/Flock

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization – This is a pretty deep tool.  You’re able to get a lot of interesting data by using this add-on.  Install it for now, but leave it off.  Ed mentions the red lines-no follow tags in the video.  For now, it’s not a big deal – he’ll show us how to use it when the time is right.

Go To SEO For FireFox Add-on For Flock


Another tool that is helpful in niche research – SearchStatus.

Go To SearchStatus Add-on For Flock


This one is very helpful way to let people know about great sites – and to let people know about YOUR sites.  Ed will show us more about how to use it soon…

Go To StumbleUpon Add-on For Flock


This is a handy way to post to Twitter – with fewer clicks.  Instead of interrupting your work flow – you can type directly into your address bar and post that text to Twitter.  As a bonus, it shortens URL’s for you too.

Go To TwitterBar Add-on For Flock

Thirty Day Challenge Toolbar

The 30DC Toolbar is a big time saver for Thirty Day Challenge Members – it’s not critical that you install it – but it does give you access to a lot of well thought out tools specific to the Thirty Day Challenge.

Get The Thirty Day Challenge Toolbar

That’s it for now – feel free to leave us a comment below… Then, if you have kids – go give them a hug.  And if you are a kid – go hug your parents….Keep them guessing.


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